HOUSTON, May 19, 2014 - Some assembly is required for Space Center Houston's jumbo-sized jigsaw puzzle: the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA) and shuttle replica. Over 5,000 visitors from around the world are watching live streaming video on the nonprofit's website as the iconic NASA transporter is pieced together.
"This is the first time that a Boeing 747 has been reassembled in the open air," said Paul Spana, exhibits manager at Space Center Houston. "We are really excited to share this historic process with our online guests and we look forward to opening this world-class exhibit in 2015."
Visitors to www.spacecenter.org can see multiple angles of the project worksite and watch Boeing's elite aircraft on ground (AOG) team rebuild the massive aircraft. The live video stream is accessible on home computers, smart phones and tablets by visiting www.spacecenter.org/giving/747-project/.
The jumbo jet began its journey to Space Center Houston from Ellington Field on April 28 and reassembly work started shortly after it arrived on April 30. The AOG team is working seven days a week to have the 747 ready for this summer's coupling with the shuttle replica Independence, which also will be available to view live.
The resulting eight-story-tall attraction will change the local landscape and officials expect it to have a positive impact on the economy. Space Center Houston currently has an estimated $45 million annual economic impact on the region, according to a 2010 study conducted by the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Visitors will have access to the interior of the 747 and the Independence, the only publicly accessible shuttle experience, making the attraction unique in the world.
A capital campaign is under way to raise the remaining $2.7 million needed to create a one-of-a-kind experience housed inside the SCA's fuselage. The public can pledge tax-deductible donations to the project by texting "Shuttle747" to 41444 or visiting www.spacecenter.org/giving
About Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc.: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an extensive science education program and a space museum. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, one of the top attractions in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and the official visitor center of NASA Johnson Space Center.